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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

State Highway 2 will be closed at Otoko from 6am until 4pm on Thursday (9 March), with a single convoy in place in each direction at 9am (northbound) and 10am (southbound) to help limit the disruption, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency advises.

National Journey Manager Helen Harris says the closure will enable contractors to fast-track work to remove trees and vegetation currently at risk of falling onto the highway.

“The hillsides around Otoko remain unstable, and our teams on the ground have identified around 60 trees at risk of toppling, with the 20 highest risk to be removed during Thursday’s closure.

“This closure will enable our crews to clear the highest risk trees as fast as possible and get traffic and freight flowing freely on this section of highway again. We’ll also be making the most of the opportunity to clear other vegetation and debris.”

The contractor will be running one northbound convoy at 9am and one southbound convoy at 10am for those who need to travel.

People are advised to plan ahead and factor the closure and convoys into their journey plans.

“There is only one chance to join those convoys, so we’re asking people to be at the closure points at 9am and 10am sharp,” says Ms Harris.

“We appreciate the understanding from businesses, freight operators and our communities, and look forward to the completion of this work to help ensure safer, more reliable journeys in this area.”

Further closures to remove the other trees at risk of toppling onto the highway will be required, with information to be provided as details for future closures are finalised.